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Systems Integration Engineer

 

If you prefer having a broad scope when it comes to your work responsibilities and the ability to touch a variety of technologies and systems, a career as a systems integration engineer may be ideal. Professionals in this field focus on how the entire system works together, not just a single piece, making the tasks highly varied.

Succeeding as a systems integration engineer means you need to be technically well-rounded and have strong soft skills. If you want to excel in these roles, here are four essential skills you need to bring to the table.

Published in Staffing News

What Tech Hiring Managers Are Really Looking For

 

Whether you are actively working to land a new position this year or simply want to remain apprised of the hiring climate, knowing what tech hiring managers are looking for is beneficial. By staying up to date, you can focus your efforts in the right direction, increasing your odds of securing a new role if you decide to make a move.

With that in mind, here are the skills tech hiring managers want to find in 2019.

 

Cloud, Cloud, Cloud

Since more businesses move to the cloud every day, it comes as no surprise that cloud-based skills are a priority. Hiring managers need to find professionals that can handle cloud computing, security, and architecture matters, ensuring their systems are functional, secure, and well-integrated into the overall business landscape.

 

Additionally, many organizations have cloud projects and initiatives planned for 2019, so they need to bolster their staff to make their goals a reality. This may lead them to expand their IT teams instead of merely adding the skill to an existing position.

 

Cybersecurity

Security is a top concern of businesses across the country. A single breach or security incident can be devastating to a company, particularly smaller to mid-sized organizations where just one event could financially doom the business or any company that does business in Europe and has to remain compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

 

Typically, organizations focus first on maintaining the security of their existing IT systems. However, security professionals are also increasingly involved in the early stages of project planning. This allows security to be a priority for any project instead of an afterthought, creating a better end result.

 

Database Management

Data is king for many companies, but they can only derive value from the information if it is well organized and accessible. Database management professionals are in demand as a result, so tech pros with skills in that area will find plenty of opportunities in 2019.

 

Precisely which skills are necessary will vary depending on the role. However, some cloud experience that aligns with database management would be an excellent way to stand out from the competition.

 

Mobile Development

The world is increasingly mobile. Millennials and Gen Z often prefer their smartphones to computers, so companies are continuing to focus heavily on the mobile side of development.

 

Application developers will find the most opportunities if they have experience both with iOS and Android. This ensures that applications can work on the majority of smartphones, creating the most potential value. Web developers need to be well-versed in mobile-friendly design, ensuring that sites appear properly on a range of platforms.

 

Let The Armada Group Help You Find Your Next Tech Role

Ultimately, tech hiring managers are focused on the areas listed above, creating opportunities for anyone with experience in those arenas. If you are interested in learning more or are looking for a new tech role in 2019, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our skilled staff today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

Published in Hiring Managers

Be a Rock Star in your FIrst 90 Days

 

Your first 90 days on the job are critical. During that period, your coworkers learn what to expect from you and managers are deciding whether you were actually a good hire or not. Your initial few months at your new company set the tone, and missteps during this time can haunt you.

 

Luckily, there are things you can do to make sure that you shine during your first 90 days. If you want to make sure you make the best impression, here’s what you need to do.

 

Find the Flow

Every workplace has patterns. They may expect certain tasks to be completed in a particular order or have an innate understanding that some phrases should be interpreted in a specific way.

 

By finding the flow, you can integrate yourself into what is already there. Not only does this makes you seem like a more natural fit, but it can also save you a lot of frustration. Instead of pushing against the norm, you are recognizing it and working with it, which is going to be universally appreciated.

 

Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t be a champion for change in the future. However, coming into a new workplace and asking people to conform to what you want isn’t going to win you any allies. Similarly, telling a group of colleagues that you don’t know well that their wrong is going to leave a sour taste in their mouths.

 

Always strive to make yourself a part of how things are first, as this gives you a chance to have the full experience. Plus, you may learn that things are the way they are for a reason, and that change isn’t actually necessary. If you do have a potentially beneficial idea, then you can share it once you garner the respect of your colleagues, and that usually won’t happen in the first 90 days.

 

Seek Out Expectations

Exceeding expectations is usually a great way to make a positive impression. However, you can only do that if you actually understand what expectations exist in the first place.

 

If your manager hasn’t clearly defined any expectations, objectives, or goals associated with your role, schedule a meeting and ask about them. You can also talk to your coworkers about what they anticipate you’ll be able to provide, giving you an idea of how they think your position fits into the bigger picture.

 

As you learn about the expectations, don’t make grand promises about exceeding them. Instead, acknowledge them and make commitments that give you a little breathing room whenever possible. Remember, it can take time to familiarize yourself with a new environment, so it’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver in the beginning.

 

Contact The Armada Group for More Help with Your Career!

By following the tips above, you can excel during your first 90 days on the job. If you would like to learn more about making a great first impression, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your questions with one of our skilled team members today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.

 

Published in Staffing News

Beat the Competition and Land Your Dream Job

 

When you have your dream job in sight, it can be as exciting as it is scary. After all, you have to outshine the other candidates if you are going to land the role, and that isn’t always an easy task.

 

Luckily, there are things you can do to beat out the competition and secure your ideal job. If you aren’t sure how to begin, here are five ways you can get started.

 

  1. Bring Something Unique to the Table

When you are applying to a job, you can almost guarantee that your strongest competitors are bringing similar technical ability to the table. After all, if they didn’t have the prowess to handle the tasks, their resume would likely get discarded.

 

If you want to stand out, finding a unique non-technical offering can make a difference. Consider your personality and attributes and identify points that can help you excel in the role. Then, find ways to add them to your resume and cover letter, making sure the hiring manager is aware of the fact that you have more to offer than hard skills.

 

  1. Make an Emotional Connection

How a hiring manager feels about you can play as much of a role in their decision as for how well your skills and experience match the job posting. If you have a chance to bond emotionally with the hiring manager, take it.

 

For example, if you can connect your passion for the opportunity to the company’s mission, that can help forge a bond. Similarly, by being friendly and open during the interview, they may see you as more likable, which can also create a connection.

 

  1. Make Subtle Comparisons

If there are areas where you perform better than average, you can stand out from the crowd with a subtle comparison. While you should never directly bash other candidates, showcasing how you outperform the average person in your field can help.

 

You’ll need to do some research about statistics that apply to your chosen profession and then identify areas where you perform better than average (and can prove it). While this can take some time and energy, it can allow you to highlight why you should be considered for the job.

 

  1. Correct Mistakes When Possible

Nearly everyone makes a mistake during an interview at some point in their career. Maybe they draw a blank on a topic or accidentally get an answer wrong. While this can feel dooming, a single misstep isn’t usually the end of the world. Plus, you may also have a chance to correct your error if you proceed properly.

 

For instance, if you missed an answer during the interview but remember the correct one before the meeting is over, you may be able to revisit the topic in a later response or when you are given a chance to ask questions. While you don’t want to force it into the conversation, as that may not impress the hiring manager, if it can work into the discussion naturally, touch on it.

 

Otherwise, when you send a thank you email, you can also cover it then. Let the hiring manager know that you remember the mistake and correct it quickly and concisely.

 

  1. Have a Closing Summary

As your interview draws to an end, having a closing summary ready that allows you to touch on your key skills and attributes, bringing everything together. This can help you stand out by making sure your last impression is a powerful one.

 

Want the Most Exciting Contracts in Silicon Valley?

By following the tips above, you can beat out the competition and land your dream job. If you are looking for more valuable information, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled team members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

3 Unlikely Traits that Extraordinary Tech Leaders Have in Common

 

There is often some level of debate regarding which characteristics truly define great leaders in a company. Some assume that subject-matter expertise is the most critical while others think that decisiveness is imperative.

 

While both of those can provide value, there are some unexpected traits that many of today’s greatest tech leaders share. By working to cultivate these in yourself, you can excel in your leadership role and make sure your team is primed to perform to the best of their capabilities.

 

With that in mind, here are three unlikely traits that extraordinary tech leaders have in common.

 

  1. The Willingness to Trust First

Many managers assume that trust needs to be earned. Similarly, they feel that a single misstep on the part of another is justification to make them re-earn trust, even if it is a relatively minor infraction.

 

This approach can create a contentious situation, leading employees to feel they need to either show-off to showcase they are trustworthy or walk on eggshells to avoid harming the relations. However, if you give trust freely to your team, they usually rise to the occasion and may even exceed your expectations.

 

By believing in your staff and their abilities quickly, you demonstrate your confidence in what they can do. This can significantly boost morale, increase productivity, and potentially spur innovation, especially if you create a safe environment for the expression of ideas.

 

  1. Understanding the Power of Humility

Some managers believe that humility is a character flaw. They assume that it’s a sign of meekness or low self-esteem, largely because, to be humble, one must be open to recognizing their own shortcomings.

 

However, contrary to popular belief, humility is rarely a sign of weakness. In reality, humble leaders are more adept at building meaningful connections with their team and colleagues and are also more willing to help when the need arises, ensuring the success of the group during trying times.

 

Humility also means being able to admit your mistakes, a sign of accountability, or recognize when someone has a better idea than you. This creates an environment where your team learns to trust and respect you, enhancing the overall dynamic.

 

  1. A Penchant for Active Listening

Too many managers fail to listen actively. Instead of genuinely absorbing the information as it is given, they simply wait for their turn to speak, formulating their response before they have heard all of the details.

 

When you are an active listener, you are able to discover what others need with greater ease. You’ll also be more open to their contributions in general, ensuring that you don’t overlook an amazing idea simply because you weren't receptive.

 

Ultimately, the three characteristics above are often hallmarks of great IT managers, making them worth developing if you want to create the best environment possible. If you would like to learn more about the traits that define extraordinary tech leaders, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable team today and see how our leadership expertise can benefit you.

 

 

The Five Best Tech Podcasts You Shold Already Be Listening To

 

There are tons of tech podcasts available today. Figuring out which ones are worth your time and attention can be challenging as few professionals have time to give everyone a try to narrow down the list.

 

Luckily, there are a few that stand out from the pack. While they are each incredibly unique, they all provide value to tech professionals looking to take a deeper dive into current events, emerging technology, career management, the impact of gadgets on daily life, and much more. If you are looking for a tech podcast to add to your playlist, here are five worth exploring.

  1. Accidental Tech Podcast

Known as ATP to its fans, the Accidental Tech Podcast features three developer hosts who dig into everything from industry news to emerging products to programming languages. Their high-level of expertise give them credibility, and their passion for the topic keeps things exciting. Plus, they speak like a group of best friends, making you feel like you are simply part of the gang.

  1. Clockwise

A podcast with a distinct formula, Clockwise always features a round-table discussion. Along with the two hosts, two industry guests present their thoughts on a range of tech topics. The show never gets long-winded, as every podcast is limited to 30 minutes or less. This means you can enjoy insights about some of today’s most interesting and, at times, controversial subjects in a highly digestible format.

  1. Rocket

The first and most popular tech podcast featuring an all-female set of hosts, Rocket discusses technology and geek culture. Their discussions on anything from tech to video games to comics are genuinely as enjoyable as they are informative.

  1. Back to Work

This podcast focuses more on employment topics than IT specifically, but it is still incredibly valuable for tech professionals who want to keep their career on the right track. The discussions encourage you to really take a realistic look at your job and how you do it, providing tips and insights on key subjects like productivity, communication, tools, workplace barriers, and more.

  1. Analog(ue)

A unique take on the tech podcast genre, Analog(ue) focuses on the human aspect of technology, including how today’s gadgets impact daily life, for better or for worse. It provides a unique perspective on the impact of technology and may give you insights that can help you determine what products may be beneficial to your lifestyle as well as those that may do more harm than good.

 

Ultimately, all of the tech podcasts listed above are great additions to any playlist. Consider giving one (or all) of them a try and see which ones resonate with you. If you would like to discover more amazing tech podcasts, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled IT specialists today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Body Language in a Job Interview

 

While having the right mix of skills and experience is critical to landing a new role, how you dress and present yourself during your job interview can also be a factor in whether you are selected for the position. By putting additional effort into your appearance, you can inspire confidence in the hiring manager. Plus, by learning to control your body language, it is possible to use your mannerisms to your benefit.

 

If you are wondering how to make the best impression possible, here is what you need to know about your appearance and body language during an interview.

 

How to Select Your Attire

How you look plays a role in how you are perceived and can significantly impact your first impression on the hiring manager. People will make assumptions about your competence, intelligence, attention to detail, and trustworthiness based on your appearance, so selecting the right attire is an essential part of preparing for an interview.

 

First and foremost, all of your interview clothes need to be in good repair. Holes and stains are guaranteed to leave a poor impression, so they need to be avoided at all costs. Similarly, every piece needs to fit well, as loose clothing makes a person appear disheveled while items that are too tight may seem inappropriate in a professional setting.

 

Additionally, you want to make sure your attire isn’t rumpled when you arrive. While you may not be able to prevent every wrinkle before you come in for your interview, ironing your outfit before you leave home can be beneficial.

 

If you aren’t sure what sort of clothing is appropriate for the environment, always err on the side of more dressed up and conservative. In many cases, business casual is a solid choice, but it’s hard to go wrong with a classic suit and tie or similar outfit if you aren’t sure what the hiring manager expects.

 

Master Your Body Language

During your interview, your body language can be just as important as the words you use when answering a question. By using positive body language, like sufficient eye contact and smiling, you increase your odds the hiring manager will see you as a competent professional.

 

Similarly, learning to maintain an open posture can help you seem friendlier and more self-assured while using power poses and standing or sitting up straight can make you appear more confident.

 

When you rehearse your interview responses prior to the meeting, spend some time reciting your answers in front of a mirror. This will allow you to observe your mannerisms, giving you a chance to adjust your body language to send the ideal message.

 

Ultimately, your appearance and body language do matter during a job interview, so working to improve them both can increase your odds of being selected for the role. If you are interested in learning more about how you can make a positive impression on hiring managers, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our hiring expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Published in Staffing News

React Engineering

 

When it comes to tech, which skills are considered to be in-demand can seemingly change on a dime. While options like Tableau and Linux were once popular with employers, interest in these skills diminished significantly during 2017.

 

However, as one skill becomes less coveted, others rise to take their place. In 2018, React, the JavaScript library commonly used in the creation of user interfaces, is what has the attention of employers.

 

React Engineering of the Rise

Over the course of two years, employer interest in React has skyrocketed, based on a recent study. Job site Indeed examined two periods, October 2015 through September 2016 and October 2016 through September 2017, and found that the number of companies seeking out React skills rose by 229 percent.

 

That level of growth far outpaced other in-demand skills, including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure at 40 percent and 62 percent respectively.

 

Another point that spurs growth is the amount of developer interest in React. Many coders appreciate its simplicity and flexibility, often leading them to consider React to be one of their favorite library options.

 

While developer support doesn’t guarantee employer buy-in, it can have an impact. As more coders touted Reacts benefits and began using the library in their work, the level of prevalence increased, leading companies to experience the benefits and start seeking out others who could work with React.

 

 

Why is React Popular with Employers?

React was developed by Facebook, a giant in the social media space. That fact alone should stand as a testament to React’s capabilities in the front-end development arena. However, the number of big name companies that embrace React doesn’t stop there. Dropbox, Expedia, Netflix, The New York Times, and Reddit all use React in some capacity, showcasing just how many organizations have shifted to the library.

 

Overall, React is highly adaptable, adjusting the renderings as new data is provided or current data changes. It also provides for a substantial amount of customization and offers a significant amount of functionality. Further, React works with a broad selection of frameworks, making it incredibly flexible too.

 

Additionally, thanks to React Native, mobile development can also be more straightforward from a company perspective. Since the transition from the web-oriented React to React Native is fairly easy to handle for most developers, this allows organizations to secure talent that has the potential to create designs in both web and mobile formats.

 

Ultimately, Reach provides a significant number of benefits and it is becoming more widely used. This increases employer interest in React, leading to additional opportunities for those interested in React engineering.

 

If you are looking for a new position, the skilled professionals at The Armada Group can help you explore opportunities in the area. Contact us to discuss your career goals with one of our experienced recruiters today and see how our services can benefit you.

 

 

Tech Egos

 

Today’s tech pros are commonly tasked with working as part of a team and communicating with a variety of stakeholders, company leaders, and customers, some of whom may not be as tech-savvy in your area of expertise. As a skilled professional, it’s easy for one’s ego to color their interactions, especially when speaking about an area where you may be knowledgeable or are passionate about.

 

But allowing your ego to impact your interactions generally has consequences. Arrogance and bragging are rarely well received, and defensiveness or a reluctance to change one’s opinion can stymy collaboration.

 

Ultimately, if you’re going to survive in the business world, you need to be skilled at setting your ego aside. Here are a few tips to get you started.

 

Prepare for the Environment

In some cases, our environment plays a large role in the amount of ego we display. If there is a lot of it present in a room, exhibited by peers or leaders in the organization, it’s easy to get sucked in. However, in ego-free environments, it’s often easier to keep one’s ego in check.

 

While you can’t necessarily control the nature of your workplace, you can prepare for it. Knowing that you are going into a potentially contentious situation gives you an opportunity to increase your level of self-awareness, ensuring you don’t merely react to stimuli and instead consider the impact of your contributions before you speak.

 

Similarly, by setting your ego aside, others may do the same, depending on the nature of the conversation and your position within it. This allows you to potentially influence the interactions subtly, creating a more welcoming and productive environment.

 

 

Practice Mindfulness

When one’s ego comes out, it could be based on a misinterpretation of reality. For example, you may see someone else’s view or statements as threatening when they are meant to be part of constructive discourse.

 

By practicing mindfulness, you can learn to view a situation as it truly is instead of responding on an emotional level. Consider meditating regularly or dedicating time to introspection, so you can determine what about the encounter tends to put you on edge and if you may be skewing the reality of the situation unintentionally. It can also help you build willpower, ensuring you don’t lash out with your ego in a reactionary fashion.

 

Be Compassionate

Often, if we simply view a situation from the other person’s perspective, we can gain valuable insights into the origin of their behavior. Further, by considering whether additional influences, such as a personal issue or work stress, may be influencing their approach can also be beneficial.

 

At times, this allows you to see a person who seems to be using their ego isn’t intending to target you. Instead, it may be the result of increased pressure elsewhere and may be venting out unintentionally. And that can help you set your ego aside.

 

Ultimately, by not allowing your ego to take control, you can have more positive and productive interactions. If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our team members today and see how our experience can benefit you.

 

 

Call Center

 

To say that call center agents spend a lot of time on the phone is an understatement. In most cases, their entire shift is dedicated to helping callers by answering questions and resolving issues. As the day wears on, it can be hard to maintain a level of enthusiasm, especially when the calls are some repetitive in nature. Additionally, fatigue makes it more difficult to judge the emotional state of the caller, which can be harmful.

 

Now, a software program called Cogito is looking to improve the call center experience for agents and customers alike. Here’s how.

 

Cogito Voice-Analysis

At its core, Cogito is software that analyzes the tone and pattern of the speaker’s voice, making adjustments based on word choice and even the length of time the line goes silent. It does this through robust algorithms supported by machine learning, allowing it to use data from other voice records to assess the status of a call as it progresses.

 

Cogito Call Center Software

When Cogito notices that a call participant, including agents or customers, has a voice pattern that suggests a potential problem, it alerts the call center representative.

 

For example, if it determines the agent's tone isn’t as cheerful, a notification that looks like a little cup of coffee pops up on the screen. This lets the representative know that their mood has changed, giving them a chance to refocus and correct it.

 

Similarly, if the software detects that a customer may be experiencing heightened emotions, either positive or negative, a heart icon displays. When they see the heart icon, the agent knows that the caller is having an emotional reaction and can adjust their approach if necessary.

 

 

What Does This Mean for Jobs?

Ultimately, Cogito isn’t designed to replace people in call centers. Instead, it functions in a support role, helping them assess how a call is going more quickly and efficiently so that quick action can be taken should the need arise.

 

The goal of software like Cogito is to provide customers with a better experience by bringing things to the attention of representatives that a person may have a more difficult time ascertaining. While an employee can certainly notice a heightened emotional state in a caller, they might not be as aware of their own tone. Additionally, the software may recognize changes in mood and cadence used by the customer more quickly than the agent, allowing them to intervene more rapidly to diffuse tense situations.

 

Some similar software offerings, like one from State Collection Service, can even display congratulatory messages to agents when it believes that a customer was satisfied with the interaction. These quick moments can help boost morale and confidence among agents, allowing them to be more effective at their jobs. Additionally, it can provide helpful tips, like steps to calm an upset customer, as soon as a potential issue is detected, giving the representative guidance when it is needed most.

 

In the end, software like Cogito isn’t going to replace workers, only give them new tools to help them be more productive and effective in their roles.

 

If you would like to learn more, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

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